6 smart strategies to escape your talkative work friend

The last thing you want to do is scream 'Shut Up!' (Shutterstock)

Chatty colleagues stopping you from getting your work done on time? Here are a few quick tips to help you deal with them.

Every office has one – the colleague that just won’t stop talking. They’ll come to your desk and talk about their weekend, their problems, even their cousin's aunty's brother in law's problems – you name it, they’ll be talking about it. Take a look at these tips to help you deal with those chatty colleagues.

1.    “Sorry, I’m on a tight deadline”
If your chatty colleague starts her story, simply say “sorry, I’m on a tight deadline. Perhaps a bit later?” Your colleague will catch a hint and realise that it’s not a good time to discuss their issues. Any excuse that tells them you’re extremely busy is a good one.

Read: Get rid of annoying co-workers once and for all (without being rude)

2.    Work = no time to chat 
If your co-worker can afford to chat all the time, chances are he probably has no work. Ask him to give your article or report a look through before you submit it. He could either say yes or no. If he says no, he’s too busy, he’ll probably get right back to work and stop bugging you.

3.    Leave before she gets there 
If you see your colleague coming your way, leave your desk. If you’re not there, she won’t stay for a chat. If you get back and you find her waiting, get back to your computer screen and glance at it while typing and simply respond with one word answers and tell her you have a deadline to meet.

4.    Make plans after hours  
If you really can’t chat, but would like to, make time with him during lunch or after work. This is a great way to ensure your deadlines are met and your friendship stays intact.

5.    Make your space unwelcoming 
If there’s an open area on your desk, cover it with books or files, if there is an empty chair close by, cover that with bags and books too – don’t give your chatty colleague a space to sit down and get comfortable.

Also read: 5 eating habits that drive your co-workers crazy

6.    If all else fails, be honest 
If you’ve tried everything on this list and still haven’t had any success, it’s a good idea to sit your chatty colleague down and tell her, very politely, that all her chatting is disrupting your productivity. Assure her that you value and respect her and would love to catch up during lunch or after work, but all  the chatting is affecting your work. If your colleague cares about you, she’ll understand and not begrudge you. 

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